Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau of the Southland serves Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties and is one of nearly 200 Better Business Bureaus across the U.S. and Canada. If you suspect consumer fraud or would like to receive more information or file a complaint, contact the Bureau's local office. They are located at 550 West Orangethorpe Ave, Placentia, CA 92870. They can be reached by phone at (714) 985-8900 for membership, and (909) 835-6064 to register a complaint, or visit their website at www.bbbsouthland.org
Burglary Prevention for Businesses
Security is an important part of business management, just as important as inventory control, advertising, pricing and location. Good security practices can save money and time and lessen the vulnerability of your business as a criminal's next target. Make your business uninviting to a burglar by using lighting inside and outside. Lighting should be in areas such as entrances, windows and alleys. Inside the business, it is important to use lighting to reduce hiding places for thieves. Make it difficult for burglars to get inside your business by using heavy solid doors, deadbolt locks and an alarm system. Make sure that skylights, vents, loading docks, sidewalk grilles or other openings are secured. Do not keep large amounts of cash on the premises. Make bank deposits at varying times of the day. If a retail establishment upon closing, remove cash & checks, leave cash registers open and tills sitting on the counter to indicate that there is no money on the premises. Alarm systems can be very helpful as deterrents and in helping to catch burglars as long as they are properly installed, used correctly by employees and maintained. To report suspicious activity or persons or for more information, call the the Irvine Police Department at (949)724-7000.
Chamber of Commerce - General Information
The Irvine Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization designed to support the business interests of the community and to provide services and information to the residents and visitors of Irvine about local businesses. The Irvine Chamber of Commerce is not affiliated with The City of Irvine.
The Irvine Chamber of Commerce offices are open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays. They are located at 2485 McCabe Way, Suite 150, Irvine, CA 92614.
For more information about services and programs that the Irvine Chamber of Commerce offers, call (949) 660-9112, or visit their website at www.irvinechamber.com Once again, that number is (949) 660-9112.
The State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs has a division that consumers can receive information about businesses and business regulations as well as report problems or concerns about area businesses. For assistance or further information, write to the California Department of Consumer Affairs at 1625 North Market Blvd., Suite N 112, Sacramento, CA 95834 or call them at 1-800-952-5210, or visit their website at www.dca.ca.gov.
Crime Prevention for Businesses
Free crime prevention assistance for businesses in Irvine is available from the Irvine Police Department. Free informational brochures and a specially-developed program provide suggested crime prevention techniques you may implement to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of burglary, larceny, fraud or other business-related crime. An officer can conduct a security survey of your business and make crime prevention presentations to your employees as well as business and professional groups. For more information about the crime prevention assistance, contact the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7000.
Relocating your Business within the Area
Before relocating your business within the City of Irvine, you must contact the Community Development Department at (949) 724-6300 to ensure that the area you are moving to is zoned for your business. Not all businesses are allowed in all zoning districts. The office is located at 1 Civic Center Plaza and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and alternate Friday's from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Once you have received notification that the area of interest is appropriately zoned for your business, you will need to contact the Business License unit in Regulatory Affairs to complete a business license application. Business License applications can be obtained in Community Development, Regulatory Affairs, or downloaded from www.cityofirvine.org/ipd/divisions/business_licenses/default.asp
Residential Business Licenses
The City of Irvine allows home occupations in most residential zoning districts. A home occupation is a business activity which results in a product or service that is conducted in whole or in part of a dwelling unit. A residential business license certificate is required before a home occupation can begin operation. The list of stipulations, in order to operate a business from your home, can be found at www.cityofirvine.org/ipd/divisions/business_licenses/default.asp (business license section) along with a home occupation application. The certificate can be applied for and obtained from the Business License Department in Regulatory Affairs which is located at 1 Civic Center Plaza between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and alternate Fridays. For more information about licensing a home business or the home business ordinance, call the Business License department at (949) 724-7128.
Starting a Business
There are many steps that need be taken when starting a new business. A list of agencies to contact before starting a business can be found on the City of Irvine business license application and instruction web site: Agencies to Contact Before Starting a Business. After you have identified what type of business you are starting, a location for the business needs to be found. Once the location has been found or if you need to speak to someone regarding a potential business site, contact the Community Development department at (949) 724-6470. The Community Development department will be able to assist you by explaining zoning issues, building and business permits, and site selection. Once you are ready to begin your business, your final step is to file for a business license with the City of Irvine: Business License Application Web site Link If you need assistance with the application or have a general question, call (949) 724-6310.
Strategic Business Plan
As a blueprint for the City's future, the Strategic Business Plan defines the Irvine City Council's goals and evaluates the City's financial capacity to achieve them.
Each January, the City Council reviews the Strategic Business Plan and sets funding priorities for the coming fiscal year using the financial projections contained within the Strategic Business Plan. When funds are not available to fulfill every goal, priority services are funded first.
The City Council's priorities are
A clean and well-maintained environment
Economic prosperity and a livable community
For more information on the Strategic Business Plan, call (949) 724-6046, or visit the City Web site Link: Strategic Business Plan Web site Link
Transferring your Business License to a New Owner
If your business changes ownership during the year, you are required to notify the Business License department. You must advise them of who the new owner is and the date ownership changed. According to the Irvine Municipal Code, a business license may not be transferred from one owner to another. New owners of a business must apply for their own business license. License fees also will not transfer; therefore, previous owners cannot be reimbursed for fees and new owners must pay for new fees. New owners are required to acquire all necessary occupancy permits and business licenses for the business. For additional information regarding the procedure for applying for a business license, call the Business License desk at (949) 724-6310, or visit the web site link: Business License Web site Link
What to do with a Bad Check
If you receive an NSF check under $2,500 or a series of bad checks not over $2,500, these checks are investigated by the Orange County District Attorney's Check Restitution Program. The first step to take is to send a certified/return receipt letter to the check writer stating he/she has 10 days to make good on the check or it is your intention to file a criminal complaint. The restitution should be made by cashier's check or money order, no personal checks should be accepted. You should receive the signed receipt (green card) back from the US Post Office. If the letter was not received by the intended party, you will receive your original mailing back. Bring the original check and the receipt or original mailing to the Irvine Police Department front counter.
There are certain eligibility guidelines in order for the DA to take your check case:
· The check must be presented to the DA's bad check program within 90 days of issuance.
· You must have taken some form of identification from the check writer at the time of presentation or you must be able to identify the check writer.
· The check must not be post dated at the time of acceptance.
· Two party checks are not eligible.
· The check must not involve the extension of credit
· The check may not be received as a payment on an account.
If your check meets the above guidelines, then bring your documents to the Irvine Police Department front desk and file your complaint, they will have the appropriate form. Once you complete this process, a case number will be assigned and IPD personnel will attempt to obtain restitiution prior to submitting your case to the OCDA's bad check program.